When All Else Fails: Underprepared on Rocky Peak Ridge

“Once the ego inflates it will only come back to earth through some jarring failure”

– Robert Greene

Our Learning Curve

No matter how much experience you have outdoors, there’s some moments where you let ego take control. For my brother and I, this occurred in the form of mileage that trail heads and the internet relayed to us. I’m not here to write this for blaming anything with the wrong round trip, but to correct it. I would like to help people in the near future with this specific trail. The route I’m speaking on is from New Russia which is the scenic way towards Rocky Peak Ridge. We read that round trip was 13 miles albeit, it was closer to 18 miles. Packing for a six mile ascent is much different than a few added on miles. Now, I’ll get into some things we learned that day.

Trail Sign From New Russia Route

False Summits & Dwindling Water Supply

Reaching a rock outcropping was a defining moment for our morale but that hadn’t lasted long. We were five miles in and realized that the summit was much longer than expected. On top of this, my brother brought along Bodi who was a rescue dog that he adopted. Considering that I brought a liter of water and my brother had more than I did, we still ran short. Luckily, we had Life Straws on us which were vital for such a moment. There is no sponsorship correlated with this writing, it’s just something that helped us out significantly. After our trek across the ridge and reaching the summit, we spent very minimal time there. On our descent is where things became a bit tricky.

Time Spent on the Summit (Bodi & Brother in Frame)
Descending From the Ridge

Baked by the Sun

Heading down the mountain, it’s not often that we stop for water as we’re focused on the end destination. Although, this time was an exception considering we had a dog and needed water as much as possible. One of the most serene moments of our trek was stopping at Lake Mary Louise. Lilies scattered the green water which led onto a view of Rocky Peak. If we had the time and necessary gear, we would’ve stopped here longer. Considering that the entire hike is mostly along a rocky ridge (hence the name), we didn’t get much tree coverage.

My Brother & Bodi Descending

Testing the Life Straw

A majority of our hike, we hadn’t seen a source of water which reminded me of St Regis Mountain in Saranac. Luckily, during our descent was a stream running adjacent to the trail. There is mixed reviews on Life Straw as it takes some time to get water to come through. If something works in a dire situation, I don’t have any judgement on it. Patience is a virtue and all we try to do is survive if necessary. I’m extremely grateful for this learning curve as it has been awhile since we were under prepared. This goes to show that you shouldn’t trust all of the information you see. Unfortunately, that goes to AllTrails as well. I’ll put the details below for hiking from the New Russia route with the mileage we recorded. Hopefully, this’ll bring light to others who might climb from this route with more preparation. An extra three miles hiking is much different than extra mileage on ground elevation.

Route Information

  • Around 18 Miles RT
  • Elevation Gain = Over 4000 Ft
  • Hike: Out & Back
  • Dog Friendly
  • Family Friendly (If enough supplies are packed & young ones are ready for a long day!)

Thank You & Stay Safe!

If anyone took the time to read this, I always appreciate it. More than a story, I wrote this for people who’d like to take this route. I’m hoping that it’ll shed some light on the Adirondack Mountain community to update their information on this hike. I’m not certain how this hike was measured in mileage but it seems to be from an aerial standpoint rather than an individual climber. Lastly, I wanted to shed some light on a piece of gear we had used for the first time. I’ve had a Life Straw in my hiking bag for a few years and it was the first time I had to utilize it. Go get yourself one as they’re relatively cheap and extremely helpful in dire circumstances! Until next time, go find that mountain and conquer the day.



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